Security issues

Anne Have

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I'll admit - I'm a Linux beginner and the reason is I'm exposed to organized cyberstalking - BIG TIME. So I was told that Linux is the answer. Well, not really in my situation. The problem is, that they use the Intel ME backdoor. I have removed the wireless card myself and still they are able to access my computer and take complete control over anything I do. I have a website where I post video documentation about my situation - now I'm unable to use the editing program Shortcut, all software programs are being destroyed and ruined. I managed to upload Ubuntu 20.04 but are now unable to update the Ubuntu. I only use LAN and the connection is simply being disconnected while uploading Ubuntu's latest updates. When I close my computer a second screen will appear during close down, similar to my screen - meaning there are apparently two copies of Ubuntu on my computer. I do not have any Sudo access or administrative power. I'm out of my computer and can only use whatever I'm "allowed" to do by the stalkers. I - of course - document these events. I thought about getting my Intel ME disabled but was told that it probably wouldn't do the trick. Others have suggested ARM processor rather than Intel and AMD. I really need to have my privacy back - so any suggestion would be lovely. Best wishes Anne
 
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Vrai

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I'll admit - I'm a Linux beginner and the reason is I'm exposed to organized cyberstalking - BIG TIME. So I was told that Linux is the answer. Well, not really in my situation. The problem is, that they use the Intel ME backdoor. I have removed the wireless card myself and still they are able to access my computer and take complete control over anything I do. I have a website where I post video documentation about my situation - now I'm unable to use the editing program Shortcut, all software programs are being destroyed and ruined. I managed to upload Ubuntu 20.04 but are now unable to update the Ubuntu. I only use LAN and the connection is simply being disconnected while uploading Ubuntu's latest updates. When I close my computer a second screen will appear during close down, similar to my screen - meaning there are apparently two copies of Ubuntu on my computer. I do not have any Sudo access or administrative power. I'm out of my computer and can only use whatever I'm "allowed" to do by the stalkers. I - of course - document these events. I thought about getting my Intel ME disabled but was told that it probably wouldn't do the trick. Others have suggested ARM processor rather than Intel and AMD. I really need to have my privacy back - so any suggestion would be lovely. Best wishes Anne
You really should notify;
1. your ISP
2. local law enforcement
3. the FBI
What you have described is highly illegal.

Get yourself a used computer with a different processor. In this case an 'older' machine may be better. Perhaps even an old MacBook with Linux on it.

Replace your home router. ( you do use a NAT router - right?)

Make sure to use a firewall. A hardware firewall device would be best.

Call your ISP and explain the situation to them and ask for a different IP address and a new or different modem.

Abandon your website where you post video documentation. Make a new site OR get a security Guru to check the site for vulnerabilities.

Don't use any Wi-Fi. Use a wired LAN connection only.

Do all these steps simultaneously. If you do not know how the 'bad guys' are getting in then, replacing one item at a time may still provide them access or reinfection.

Don't allow anyone access to your machine.
 

Alexzee

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I'm with Vrai, what you have going on is illegal.
And, most definately get a new router/modem and do not whatever you do use any WiFi like Vrai has already warned you not to do.

I would report it to the Internet Crime Unit! And, ASAP!!!

In the meantime you can try running a LIve Linux CD/DVD or a Live USB.

You said you managed to upload Ubuntu 20.04.
Did you go through a full installation and upon rebooting your machine had success?
 

sp331yi

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+1
Call your ISP and explain the situation to them and ask for a different IP address and a new or different modem . . .Don't use any Wi-Fi. Use a wired LAN connection only.
Prior to using a LiveCD or LiveUSB, wipe your hard drive and make patitions the same as were in place before the attack. format them to differing file systems but leave them blank. Also, I have a background you could place on the desktop as a greeting to your hackers, but it's obscene.

You'll probably want to get a new hard drive. Depending on your locale, a 120GB SSD can be had for a little less than $20 US. (ebay)

FYI:
 
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Anne Have

New Member
Credits
103
You really should notify;
1. your ISP
2. local law enforcement
3. the FBI
What you have described is highly illegal.

Get yourself a used computer with a different processor. In this case an 'older' machine may be better. Perhaps even an old MacBook with Linux on it.

Replace your home router. ( you do use a NAT router - right?)

Make sure to use a firewall. A hardware firewall device would be best.

Call your ISP and explain the situation to them and ask for a different IP address and a new or different modem.

Abandon your website where you post video documentation. Make a new site OR get a security Guru to check the site for vulnerabilities.

Don't use any Wi-Fi. Use a wired LAN connection only.

Do all these steps simultaneously. If you do not know how the 'bad guys' are getting in then, replacing one item at a time may still provide them access or reinfection.

Don't allow anyone access to your machine.
Thank you for your reply. So, you don't think they use Intel ME? To me it's the only way in, when I'm offline. An old computer might be the way. I'm just trying to avoid Intel ME.
 

Anne Have

New Member
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103
I'm with Vrai, what you have going on is illegal.
And, most definately get a new router/modem and do not whatever you do use any WiFi like Vrai has already warned you not to do.

I would report it to the Internet Crime Unit! And, ASAP!!!

In the meantime you can try running a LIve Linux CD/DVD or a Live USB.

You said you managed to upload Ubuntu 20.04.
Did you go through a full installation and upon rebooting your machine had success?
Yes, it is illegal. And I have already tried to go to the police, however still without success.
 

Anne Have

New Member
Credits
103
I'm with Vrai, what you have going on is illegal.
And, most definately get a new router/modem and do not whatever you do use any WiFi like Vrai has already warned you not to do.

I would report it to the Internet Crime Unit! And, ASAP!!!

In the meantime you can try running a LIve Linux CD/DVD or a Live USB.

You said you managed to upload Ubuntu 20.04.
Did you go through a full installation and upon rebooting your machine had success?
I believe I did complete the full installation, but I'm unable to do any updates.
 

sp331yi

Well-Known Member
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4,614
Disabling the ME
It is normally not possible for the user to disable the ME. Some undocumented methods to do so were discovered, however.[43] These methods are not supported by Intel. The ME's security architecture is designed to prevent disabling, and thus its possibility is considered by Intel to be a security vulnerability. For example, a virus could abuse it to make the computer lose some of the functionality that the typical end-user expects, such as the ability to play media with DRM. On the other hand, a malicious actor could use the ME to remotely compromise a system.

Strictly speaking, none of the known methods disables the ME completely, since it is required for booting the main CPU. All known methods merely make the ME go into abnormal states soon after boot, in which it seems not to have any working functionality. The ME is still physically connected to the system and its microprocessor continues to execute code.
What can a person do to disable it? Do a search on "Win7 Laptops" on Walmart, eBay, or that other one.
Don't need much to run Linux -- 2.4GHz and 8GB RAM would be nice, but can get by cheaper if you want. I like Dell. Lenovo is good, too. Maybe a friend had an old one of these or maybe a HP.
 

Anne Have

New Member
Credits
103
+1

Prior to using a LiveCD or LiveUSB, wipe your hard drive and make patitions the same as were in place before the attack. format them to differing file systems but leave them blank. Also, I have a background you could place on the desktop as a greeting to your hackers, but it's obscene.

You'll probably want to get a new hard drive. Depending on your locale, a 120GB SSD can be had for a little less than $20 US. (ebay)

FYI:
Honeypots sounds interesting - my main issues is I'm unable to use sudo etc. - but I do document everything - for the police of course, which should be some sort of prevention in the long run. They have already messed up big time.
 

Anne Have

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103
I would report it to the authorities and give them your PC so they find can find digital tracks that may help track down these criminals. First replace your router with a new one, as well as what others have mentioned. I would also buy a new computer as it is kind of hard to know where they have all gotten into. I don't really think it matters if you buy intel or amd or which architecture you choose they all can have vulnerabilities, ARM as well.
Thank you for the information, it's good to know. Don't want to waste my money.
 

sp331yi

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Every GNU/Linux system has a root account, distros like Ubuntu just don't have the root account activated with a password by default because they expect you to use sudo to escalate privileges. I would expect that you would be able to reset the root password and get sudo privileges back by booting into the rescue environmeititnt, this can usually be done when booting into rescue mode by either booting from the initramfs-rescue kernel or by booting from a cd into the rescue environment and then chrooting into your installation.
Obviously, @f33dmebits! You see that the OP did not answer, so I let it go until the answer was forthcoming. The question is -- does OP know how to do this? I'm two steps ahead of a newbie and one ahead of you, it seems. Thank you very much. You and condo take over.
 

wizardfromoz

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:) G'day Anne and welcome to linux.org

Just a note to my American friends is that several of the people in this Thread are not from USA, so FBI and related references do not apply.

However, Anne, the inference of taking your problem, computer and all, to some for of Cyber Crime agency, is in my opinion very valid - in any civilised Western country, these activities should be a matter of interest to the authorities.

I am going to move this Thread to our Security subforum, in hopes that someone there will have ideas for you, and the participants already here will receive notification.

Good luck with your dilemma and if you get a satisfactory solution from outside our ranks, please do come back and share it with us, won't you?

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz - Australia, The Land Down Under
 

Condobloke

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I wasn't aware of any predetermined order of answering here.....

If I have 'jumped' my turn....well you'll just have to wait/get in the queue !!!!
LAUGH.gif
 

wizardfromoz

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Staff member
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You see that the OP did not answer, so I let it go until the answer was forthcoming.
You're not taking into consideration that timezones may mean she had gone to bed after her last post. :)

Wiz
 

sp331yi

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Along those lines -- neither did the others.
see 'mental well-being and coping strategies' and you will understand why Ignore List is extant
 

sp331yi

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No worries. It will come with time, when it is necessary.
I find that my looking too broadly at things and using anyting but exact phreseology irritates newbies and certain personality types, respectively.
In any case, I hope your issue is solved very soon.
 

Anne Have

New Member
Credits
103
:) G'day Anne and welcome to linux.org

Just a note to my American friends is that several of the people in this Thread are not from USA, so FBI and related references do not apply.

However, Anne, the inference of taking your problem, computer and all, to some for of Cyber Crime agency, is in my opinion very valid - in any civilised Western country, these activities should be a matter of interest to the authorities.

I am going to move this Thread to our Security subforum, in hopes that someone there will have ideas for you, and the participants already here will receive notification.

Good luck with your dilemma and if you get a satisfactory solution from outside our ranks, please do come back and share it with us, won't you?

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz - Australia, The Land Down Under
The least I can do is to let you know how things turn out. I will - since security is relevant to everyone. It's a bit embarrasing, but I am a newbie - totally. This is not my field and if it wasn't for the cyberstalking etc., I wouldn never have been concerned about these issues to be honest. I am look for a new - old computer as well as I will have to find a way to make a Live Ubuntu USB. About the police - hm... My history with the police the last couple of years is not good. Besides, I'm not even sure if the cyberstalkers/hackers leaves traces, if and when they use the hidden backdoor - Intel ME? However, if you are confident, that there will be some traces, I will seriously consider going to the police with my computer, since I'm going to by a new - old one anyways. And I do appreciate all the help I have received on Linux.org so far - so, thanks to everyone. Last question: A secure subforum?! Does that mean, I can no longer follow this thread? Kind regards Anne
 


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